"Not now, not in the future, not ever," wrote a Scottish bishop on the possibility of same-sex marriages in the Catholic Church. The prelate's comments came after U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron gave sweeping support for gay unions celebrated in places of worship.
Cameron commented during the Gay Pride function he hosted at his official government residence last week that he was pleased to announce a "good" and "right" step toward the further acceptance of same-sex unions. According to the Christian Institute (CI), he said he wanted to "make sure" that all religious sites have the right to register civil partnerships for same-sex couples.
CI reproduced his words, "I say this as someone who believes in marriage, who believes in civil partnership, who believes in commitment – and that is to say that if religious organizations, if churches, if mosques, if temples want to have civil partnerships celebrated at religious places of worship, that should be able to happen and we should make that happen.
“Of course," he added, "those organizations that don’t want that to happen have their rights too, but we shouldn’t let some legalistic nonsense get in the way of people who want to celebrate civil partnerships in churches, and when there are churches that want that to happen, we should allow that to happen.”
Bishop of Paisley, Philip Tartaglia, responded to the remarks in a letter to the prime minister, printed in part by Glasgow's The Herald newspaper, in which he pointed out skeptically that the statement is "vague enough to have more than one outcome in practice."
Rejecting the idea roundly for the Church of Rome, he added, "But you and your Government need to be aware from the outset that the Catholic Church will not register civil partnerships nor celebrate same-sex unions: not now, not in the future, not ever, no matter what legislation or regulations your Government enacts or endorses.”
Same-sex unions are allowed in Great Britain as "civil partnerships" but not "marriages," according to the Herald. Although under current law, registry of these "partnerships" in religious places of worship is not permitted, legislation in the U.K. parliament is currently being discussed to make it legal for churches and other religious organizations to do so.